So You Want A Career In The Medical Field But Have No Prior Medical Experience.

Don’t let the lack of experience stop you from entering the medical field.  You’re caring for patients so it may seem intimidating at first, but there are several training programs for different entry-level careers in the medical field to look at. 

Most people looking into the medical field are interested because of the higher pay.  Some may have family members already with careers in the medical field.  Perks and benefits might be good too. Yet, the majority of people have one thing in common, they enjoy taking care of patients and being challenged at their job. 

Going to the right school for training and picking the right career is important.  First, you have to pick a good school. In California, you want at least a school that is BPPE approved and you want a school that is Accredited. Then you can consider your options between a long vs short training program.  Each has its pros and cons which we will discuss below. 

Short Programs:  These training programs are typically certificate-based.  They can run from a few hours of training to up to 6 months or more.  These programs are usually less than 900 hours in total length.  In general, jobs are more specific and in many cases, entry-level jobs in these fields of training can be more competitive.  The tuition costs for these short programs typically range from $100 to a few thousand dollars.  Say, for example, a CPR training course can be $30-75 dollars per course, but it would be difficult to find a job simply as a CPR professional.  Courses such as Phlebotomy Training run anywhere between $1700-2200 per course with much higher starting pay see the link to phlebotomy technician.  Short programs are not eligible for most Federal Financial Aid programs. Read more about the short medical programs here

Long Programs:  Long format training programs can either be certificate or diploma awarding.  You can simply pack more training into a longer course.  These courses can be as short as 900 hours, approximately 9 months, or longer.  For example, our MA certificate program is 900 hours.  Our MCA AAS Degree program takes approximately 12 months to complete.  In our experience, long program graduates have more doors of opportunity after graduation.  Overall, longer programs provide a more solid medical educational base and a good long program is our recommendation for almost all entry-level medical professionals starting out.  Medical Assisting provides a great start for this.  Also important to mention is that most long program courses are eligible for Federal Financial Aid (if you qualify), please reach out here for more information. 

Don’t forget, regardless of which program you decide on, pick one from an accredited school with a good reputation and a long history of serving their students WELL.

"several training programs for different entry-level careers in the medical field to look at"

CNAs learn a wide variety of skills.  Those who work in hospitals often have years of experience to be able to deal with the fast-paced nature and respond quickly to critical patients.  Nursing home patients require direct care services that require patience and compassion.  Home Health Care patients often require assistance in mobility and performing personal care tasks that they cannot do themselves.  Assisted Living Facilities have more patients who are more independent and can be a good training ground for CNAs.  Adult Day Care has physically or mentally challenged residents who return home in the evenings.  These patients require a different type of care.  Clinics and Physician’s Offices need CNAs to take vital signs and provide basic care to patients who visit the clinic.  Some schools require a CAN to help with the provisioning of food and health services to students.  This simply scratches the surface of what all CNAs do.  Before I forget, here are the starting salaries for CNAs.  We think Indeed’s survey is fairly accurate –

  • Education / Training:  5-10 weeks
  • Prerequisites:  No

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